Monday, December 28, 2020

Tête-à-Tête ~ Christmas 2020

Christmas Tête - à -Tête 
December 2020

Tête - à -Tête 
~ a conversation between two people
In French, a Tête - à -Tête literally means "head to head."
Pour yourself a cup of tea and a let's have a
Tête - à -Tête about Christmas 2020 here at HFTS.

No question the holiday season of 2020 was by far
very different from all our past celebrations, 
though that didn't deter me from adding festive 
touches around our home this December.

A tray of Connie Roberts' folk art Santa whistles added
a touch of whimsy and brought smiles.

Twinkle lights and collected Santa figures are 
like old friends come for a yearly visit.

Christmas mice, given to me by an aunt in 1975,
brought sentimental memories of special times.

Early in our marriage, The Chef  hung a petite copper 
heart chocolate mold on our tree, a thoughtful, romantic gift.

Over the years we found more petite copper hearts,
 and a new collection began as I came across other little copper chocolate molds here and there, along with small copper bells. 
Isn't that how most collections begin?
 Now they decorate a small tabletop tree each year.

Another year, the chef gave me a large 
copper heart with an endearing message in German. 
Over time, he found a few more, and they are treasures.
The handsome wooden soldier came to live here in recent years, 
 a purchase from my friend, Rita @ Panoply
She and her sisters have a fun filled space at an antique mall.

Nutcrackers gather on the sun porch table.
Can you spot the new one?  
I couldn't resist the small Highland Nutcracker on a flash 
sale the week of Christmas with Christmas Eve delivery!  
Thank you, MacKenzie-Childs!

The darling watercolor by Monique @ La Table de Nana
is a cherished reminder of friends across the miles any time of year.

The talented Jenna @The Painted Apron surprised
me with this darling farm truck that she painted.
It's the perfect accessory with my 
MacKenzie-Childs Farmer Nutcracker.

Let's talk about holiday table settings!
COVID has changed traditional entertaining.
Tables for eight or ten are now a table for two.
To keep our home festive, I made a point to keep our table
set with the ambiance of the holidays through out December.
I simply changed up the plate stack a little from week to week.

Juliska introduced their Stewart Tartan this fall.
Those little gnomes insisted I add a touch of 
this traditional look to our holiday table. 

My generous, thoughtful friend Victoria @ Crown Linen Designs
sent me the salad plates of the new Arte Italica Natale,
They are a perfect pairing for the tartan!

A snowy vignette on a silver tray served 
as a simple centerpiece for our holiday table.

I added a few bottle brush trees and an
origami reindeer from my ornament box. . . 

Along with this cute MacKenzie-Childs gnome 
and old fashioned faux snow sprinkled across the tray 
to complete the winter wonderland scene.

An Instagram and blogging friend, 
shared this wonderful stag plate on her IG feed, 
and I rushed to Hobby Lobby with hopes of adding these
to my plate stack for yet another look.  I bought the last one, and searches far and wide to add more turned up empty handed.  
If any of my readers see this pattern for sale, please alert me.  
They are part of the Farmhouse Christmas by Robert Stanley.

I layered the plate stacks atop my favorite 
Crown Linen Design's 
black and white check linens with a touch of 
MacKenzie-Childs tartan napkins kicked to the side.

I traded out the white Vintage Garden charger 
from the Ambiance Collection 
for a green porcelain charger by Zirke.

Part of playing with dishes is trying out different
looks with the same basic stack.
Just change out a charger, salad plate, stack topper, 
flatware, or linens for a complete new look.

Don't forget to add a fun plate 
topper for a holiday touch!

Our Christmas dinner stack included a fun new touch
with Bauble Stockings at each of our place settings.  
Donner for The Chef.

Napkins ~ Victorian Red by Crown Linen Designs
Bauble Stockings are exquisitely hand stitched by women in Haiti who are paid a fair trade wage and provided with tuition for their children's education, books, after school curriculum, breakfast, and lunch.
As a lifetime stitcher, I stand in awe of Kate Stewart, her generous business model, her enthusiasm, her kind heart, 
and these perfect little stockings.

Thanks for the visit.
Leave a comment and let me know
how you celebrated this holiday season.
As we sometimes say in Texas,
"Happy Y'allidays!"

Thursday Favorite Things @ Katherine's Corner Charming Homes and Gardens @ Shiplap and Shells  Embracing Home and Family @ The Everyday Farmhouse   Farmhouse Friday @ The Painted Hinge 

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Zooming into Cookie Decorating

I recently received an invitation for a 
Zoom Cookie Decorating 
class and thought, "Why Not?"

Everything was perfectly organized!
A box of cookies and a decorating kit were delivered right to my door.
~ Tubs of Icing ~ Sprinkles ~ Pastry Bags with Decorating Tips ~ 
~ Even a Spatula!~

 Christy Mendoza of Make It Sweet
was our expert cookie decorator 
teacher for the evening.

It was a fun filled event with this group 
of Chi O sisters here in Austin.
Thank you, Nicole, for organizing such a fun evening.

Christy was an amazing teacher, as she cheerfully
walked us through step by step of how
to decorate each of these cookies.
Christy made it appear easy, but let's just say,
I have a renewed respect for the art of cookie decorating!

We are not entertaining, 
but in honor of this fun virtual evening, 
I'm hosting a virtual Cookie Party for you.

Pick your favorite cookie and let
me know in the comments.
They are delicious!

I want to take this opportunity to thank all 
who left a comment on my previous post here.
Congratulations to Jane @ Blondie's Journal.
Jane won our Traveling Tote gift for the December
Be sure to join us March 1, 2021 for the next edition.

Thursday Favorite Things @ Katherine's Corner Charming Homes and Gardens @ Shiplap and Shells  Embracing Home and Family @ The Everyday Farmhouse   Farmhouse Friday @ The Painted Hinge 

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Tales of the Traveling Tote #25

Rabbit, Rabbit ~ December 1, 2020
Welcome to Tales of the non Traveling Tote!
As like many, we are staying home,
so absolutely no travel to share!
Instead, a few random things each month.

The first Sunday in September found 
us enjoying one of our favorite traditions.
Shakes, Burgers, and Bubbles
at The Peached Tortilla
to celebrate our 45th Wedding Anniversary.

It was the first offering since the lockdown,
and our first time to venture into a restaurant.

Temperature checks at the door, only a few tables 
available inside, and excellent safety protocal.

The Chef took the donut home for a late night snack, and we shared the shake, a delicious caramel milkshake, rimmed in chocolate and pecans, and topped with a traditional yeast donut. 

Thank you, Peached Tortilla, 
you never disappoint!

September also brought my sister back up to see her daughters,
so we had a little sister time with lunch at Sweet Lemon.
Since COVID, they only offer outdoor dining 
~ picnic tables under the huge oaks.

October arrived and with it 
some beautiful autumn weather!
A favorite activity is to venture over 
to a neighborhood bakery.

Miss Merri Mac and the bears came along and were very
popular with a little girl and her baby brother munching on their
bakery treats.  Mack and Kenzie go together like milk and cookies.

Grocery shopping at least offers a reason to leave the house.
A weekly early morning trip to Trader Joe's 
for flowers and a few fall favorites has become a habit.
Thank you, Trader Joe's for senior hour shopping!

COVID has changed much of our normal routine, and
voting was no exception.  We received our ballots, completed them
and drove over to the County Offices to vote absentee.

The process couldn't have been easier or more efficient.
Thank you Travis County for offering a safe way
to cast our votes in the 2020 election.

Sadie Mercedes made her voice heard as well.
Miss Arden Elizabeth of the Treat Party.

October in Texas traditionally brings large crowds 
from across the country to shop the antique venues 
at Round Top and the surrounding small communities.

I rarely miss an opportunity, and since the shows were completely canceled last spring, I seriously considered attending
when things opened back up for shopping this fall.

When the week arrived, I decided it was too risky
and Miss Merri Mac and I opted to forgo 
shopping among large crowds.

Staying home has me in the 
kitchen baking more these days.

We can't consume all the goodies,
so Miss Merri Mac and I deliver baked goods
to friends around the neighborhood.

Table for two for Thanksgiving 2020
With the arrival of November also came increased 
numbers of confirmed cases. COVID restrictions once
again tightened up and holiday plans took on a 
very different look from previous years.
Thanksgiving Turkey Talk post here.

Neighborhood walks are the extent of being out and about 
other than grocery shopping and doctor appointments.
Fortunately many of our neighbors like to add seasonal
touches to greet those out for a daily walk.

This charming door always has a pretty wreath 
embellished with black and white checked ribbon, 
a nod to the MacKenzie-Childs fan who lives within.  

One of my favorite doors I pass on my walk is a cheerful yellow
and home to a favorite, Mrs. Powers of MacKenzie-Childs fame.  
The swinging Mrs. Powers is a door knocker, 
and the wreath changes with the seasons.

And then there was this in a trash can 
the day after Thanksgiving.
I admit, I stopped to do a double take, 
thinking someone had thrown out 
MacKenzie-Childs pumpkins.

Be sure to visit all the adventures below.
Debbie with Miss Aurora @ Mountain Breaths 
Emily with Miss Courtney ChildsThe French Hutch
Jenna with Miss Coquille @The Painted Apron
Linda P with Miss Lola @ Life and Linda
 Patti with Miss Kenzie @ Pandora's Box
Rita with Miss Luna C Panoply 
Sarah with Miss Merri Mac @ Hyacinths for the Soul (You are here)
Jackie and Miss Madi K @ Purple Chocolat Home
Ricki Jill and Countess De Monet @ The Sketchy Reader

Just in time for the holidays!
Our Giveaway this edition is a trio of paper goods.
Leave a comment below on my blog for a chance to win.
You will need to leave your blog address or an email to be entered so we have a way to contact you.  Thank you!